Kenny Florian : “Fighting Is About Patterns”

In a recent UFC event broadcast, former title contender Kenny Florian made a great observation: “fighting is all about patterns”.

Often in UFC fight commentary, we hear that the fighters are going through a “feeling out process” and “feeling the timing” of the opponent.

What does this mean?

It means that if we observe an opponent’s reactions to a feinted punch or a pull on the collar of their lapel, we can anticipate his movement. Knowledge and anticipation of this is what we need to setup and deliver a clean punch, kick, or takedown.

I read an excellent article entitled “Basic Principles of Combat.” One of the points was about avoiding and spotting patterns in fighting:

“A systematic repetition is always dangerous. If you continue to show your opponent the same move you will give him the opportunity to anticipate it and counter it. Keep the element of surprise on your side.”

Let’s look at a specific example from stand-up grappling.

In many ways, the stand-up phase of any fight is more difficult because your opponent has freedom of movement and can quickly avoid your offensive attacks.

Set-ups and combinations become much more important for your success.

If I make a step and pull on the kimono to enter into my #1 throw, my opponent will react by leaning away from my attack.

I try it a second time and he does the same thing.

Okay, he has established a pattern!

Judo Basics- Getting a reaction Part 2

For my third attempt, I fake the #1 throw and my opponent predictably reacts in the same way as the first two attempts. This time I am ready with a different technique and catch my opponent by complete surprise.

We see the same thing with Muay Thai in MMA. One fighter uses repeated low kicks to the opponent’s leg. Once the opponent starts to react to every feint by dropping her defense, the kicker goes upstairs with a BIG head kick and a spectacular knockout can result!

Try an experiment in your guard passing with faking certain passes and seeing how your opponents reactions make a pattern. Then change techniques to take advantage of his pattern.

On Jiu-jitsu Times: What Are You Working on?


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